The recent decisions made by the U.S Supreme Court – from overturning the constitutional right to abortion, to limiting the EPA’s regulation of carbon emissions, to expanding the carrying of concealed weapons, among other rulings – are sending shockwaves across the country. 

Indeed, the recent rulings have led many Americans to wonder what the implications will be for other rights, such as access to birth control and marriage equality.  

For some Stanford scholars, the rulings indicate how the conservative-leaning court views the relationship between the three branches of government – legislative, executive, and judicial – and where they view the power for decision-making lies as they establish new precedent on, for example, what is considered a congressional issue versus a constitutional one, and what is a matter for a state legislature versus a federal body.  

“When paired with yesterday’s decision striking down New York’s law requiring gun permits, we see an aggressive Court that is imposing on the country dramatic change in doctrine and policy,” said Jane Schacter, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, the day after the 6-3 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was announced. 

Here, Schacter and other Stanford faculty discuss some of the seismic changes the Supreme Court has set in motion and what to expect from a court whose ideology tends to diverge from public opinion, as well as other scholarship related to how governance is structured in the United States.

Stanford’s Deborah Sivas on Supreme Court’s decision to limit EPA’s powers to fight climate change

Stanford law Professor and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas explains the key points of the SCOTUS decision to reduce the regulatory power of the EPA and discusses the implications for climate change.

A constitutional earthquake: Jane Schacter on SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Stanford law Professor Jane Schacter, an expert on constitutional law and sexuality, discusses the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to an abortion.

Protecting Reproductive Health Information after Fall of Roe v. Wade

Michelle Mello writes that the overturning of Roe v. Wade — ending federal protection over a woman's right to an abortion — could also expose her personal health data in court.

Packed and loaded: John Donohue on Supreme Court’s guns decision

Stanford Law Professor John Donohue, an expert in gun law, discusses the Supreme Court decision to strike down New York’s law restricting the right of individuals to carry firearms outside of the home, expanding the scope of the individual constitutional right to keep and bear arms.    

West Virginia v. EPA and the Future of the Administrative State

Scholars discuss the implications for climate policy and the future of the administrative state following the decision in West Virginia v. EPA that now limits the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The gap between the Supreme Court and most Americans’ views is growing

A new study finds that not only has the court’s majority shifted dramatically rightward in the past two years, its stances are now significantly more conservative than most Americans’.

Viking River Cruises and the Future of Workplace Regulation

Stanford Law Professor David Freeman Engstrom and Catherina Xu, a member of the Stanford Law School class of 2024, discuss the Court’s ruling in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana and its implications for the policing of employer misconduct.

Stanford’s Bernadette Meyler on possible SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Constitutional law scholar Bernadette Meyler discusses the leaked Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization memo and the implications of a possible decision.

What is the Electoral College, anyway?

Understanding what Congress was doing the day the Capitol was attacked by an angry mob on Jan. 6, 2021, is an opportunity to think about the purpose of the Electoral College – the “peculiar and much-criticized” method the United States uses to select its president, says Stanford historian Jonathan Geinapp.

How the meaning of the Declaration of Independence changed over time

When the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, it was a call for the right to statehood rather than individual liberties, says Stanford historian Jack Rakove. Only after the American Revolution did people interpret it as a promise for individual equality.